Annie and the Wolves

Andromeda Romano-Lax. Soho, $27 (408p) ISBN 978-1-64129-169-9
Romano-Lax follows Plum Rains with an engrossing work of speculative fiction featuring a time-traveling Annie Oakley. Failed doctoral candidate Ruth McClintock is working to prove her theory that Oakley was sexually abused by a man Oakley’s parents sent her to work for as a child. Aided in her research by high school student Reece, Ruth discovers her neighbor, a cheerleading coach at the school, has been raping students, making him a modern-day “Wolf”—Oakley’s name for predatory men. As Ruth learns more about Oakley’s life, she uncovers Oakley’s secret visits to a psychoanalyst, which are informed by chapters following Oakley through various points around the turn of the century. Along the way, Ruth discovers that she and Reece share an ability held by Oakley to travel in time through memory, and that Ruth is clairvoyant. Ruth then tries to prevent the death of her ex-fiancé, Scott, in a car crash, and to go back in time to prevent her sister from killing herself. Romano-Lax neatly weaves the parallel narratives of Oakley and Ruth, and juggles various literary devices and genres with aplomb. The dual storylines dovetail perfectly for a winning anthem of female power sustained across a century. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/06/2020
Release date: 02/02/2021
Genre: Fiction
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